Man free after 36 years of imprisonment for murdering his wife

Man who was in imprisonment for the murder of his wife for the last 36 years was released on Wednesday, 20 December.

49-year-old Tobago Supervisor granted bail in Tunapuna assault case. Image Credit: Facebook, Trinidad Tobago
49-year-old Tobago Supervisor granted bail in Tunapuna assault case. Image Credit: Facebook, Trinidad Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago: A 75-year-old man who was in imprisonment facing criminal charges for the murder of his unfaithful wife for the last 36 years so that he could run off with his mistress was released on Wednesday, 20 December.

The man is identified as Basdeo Debieen, and his wife, who was murdered, was named Nyantra Debideen.

As per the reports, Justice Gail Gonzales ordered the immediate release of Basdeo Debideen, who was 36 years in jail for the murder of his wife on Mother’s Day, after reviewing the submission by Daniel Khan and Israel Khan.

Justice Gail Gonzales said, “The aggravating factors in considering the matter were the breach of familiar trust and the fact that it was premeditated.”

”There were no mitigating factors and, in her resentencing, began at 40 years with a five-year discount for his forthrightness.” She added.

In the statement, Justice Gonzales said that she judged the suspect Debideen not on the basis of how he was in his past in 1987 but after so many years of how he changed with time and who he is now.

“Interestingly, he does not blame the deceased. He does not absolve himself. He accepts full responsibility and condemns his actions for which he feels shame and seeks atonement,” Gonzales said.

She continued with her statement and mentioned, “The sentencing started at 35 years and not 40 because in her time resentencing, Debideen was the first person who admitted wholeheartedly to doing what he was sentenced for and had not blamed the victim.”

Gonzales said, “Debideen’s character while in prison, where he devoted himself to the Pentecostal faith, engaged in sporting activities and did not breach any of the prison rules, made her not wait for a probation officer’s report or until January to resentence him.”

As a result of all arguments and proceedings, Debideen was ordered to be released with immediate effect.

Debideen said in his application for clemency in 2019 that at first, he was sentenced to death in 1989.

After which, his death sentence was dismissed, and another verdict was given of 75 years of imprisonment on 1 April 1998.

In that verdict, the earliest release date was on 31 March 2048, and the final possible release was 25 years later.

Before the day of the murder, Debideen was living a simple family life. He was married to Nyantra, and both had two daughters of age 6 and 12 respectively.

He was running a good little business where he owned a sporting goods store, which also allowed him to travel from time to time.

The case under which Debideen was charged was that he created a conspiracy to kill his wife with the help of another man for $50,000 by choking her on the first attempt.

After the unsuccessful first attempt, he gave a gun to a killer and asked him to shoot his wife when he with his daughters will not be at home.

As per an alleged statement by the prosecution, Debideen agreed that this was the plan but denied that he did it to gain any claim from the insurance policy.

The reason for the killing of his wife Debideen shared that his wife was cheating on him, and somehow, he discovered her affair.

After learning about her affair, he was disturbed and was not able to stay with her anymore. On the suggestion of his mistress, he made a plan to kill his wife and then escape to the US with his two daughters and his lover to settle there.

Debideen said that on the day of the killing of his wife, he saw his partner in crime shooting her, and he, straight away at the moment, became overwhelmed with self-loathing and got filled with regret.

“I subsequently began to initiate steps to migrate to the US with my children to live with my mistress,” Debideen said.

He recalled, “However, my mother had discovered what I had done and what I was planning to do, and she informed the police that I was involved in the death of my wife.”

He also said in his statement about the incident, “ I pleaded not guilty to the murder because I did not want to be hanged and fully denied my involvement in the crime.”

His alibi at the time was that he was at Caura making a cook at the time of the incident when the killing happened. He was finally found guilty of murder on 18 December 1989.

Debideen always kept worrying about his daughters and their conditions and what they faced after his sentence while he was on his nine years of death row.

When the Privy Council in 1998 handed down the Pratt and Morgan verdict, the sentence was changed to 75 years of hard labour.

While talking about his regret for what he did, he said, “As I look back at what I did, I am overpowered by feelings of guilt, remorse and regret for my actions, which resulted in the loss of my loving wife.”

“I sincerely want to apologise for the agony, pain and suffering I have inflicted upon society and, in particular, my family,” he added further.

He also said, “I will forever regret what I have done and the heartache I have caused my daughters. I am sincerely sorry to the family of my wife; I have taken from them someone who can never be replaced.”

About the question of his family and future Debideen said that his daughters and in-laws have all forgiven him, and now he plans to work with young people on some cause as his time in prison made him into a better human being.